Can AI create true art? LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman releases NFTs made by OpenAI’s DALL-E on the Solana blockchain.
DALL-E, the AI-powered neural network that can generate realistic images and artworks from text descriptions, enabled commercialization rights for creators with a new beta version last week. This opens up a plethora of opportunities for creators to generate AI-rendered art as their ‘own’ creations.
Hoffman announced his AI-created NFT project Untranslatable Words on the Solana NFT marketplace Magic Eden via Twitter, inspired by “words that exist in another language where no single-word equivalent in your own language exists.”
“Visual expression can’t exist without technology” (Reid Hoffman, OpenAI)
Citing multiple reasons for his “experimenting”, Hoffman claims DALL-E has made “a single word … worth a thousand pictures” creating both “digital abundance and digital scarcity” at the same time. This ability for untrained artists to render hundreds of high-quality “unique” and “original” images in a few hours, he suggests, is “scarcity at scale”.
“Great artists have always been great innovators” (Reid Hoffman, OpenAI)
The collection will initially have 11 unique pieces. The first auction item “mångata” meaning ‘moon street’ in Swedish.
DALL-E’s language model has been trained to find logical connections between words in a text, combining “concepts, attributes, and styles” to create “original, realistic images and art”. Two versions currently exist, where the original DALL-E uses 12 billion parameters, and DALL-E 2 uses a smaller 3.5 billion parameters. DALL-E 2 is however able to render significantly better photorealism despite the seeming disadvantage.
OpenAI, the artificial intelligence research company co-founded by Elon Musk and backed by Microsoft as a competitor to Alphabet’s DeepMind, has been developing a version of their Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) technology called DALL-E to generate images from natural language.
“If groundbreaking artists like Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keefe, and Frida Kahlo were alive today, I’m sure they’d be experimenting with DALL-E.” (Reid Hoffman, OpenAI)
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Fashion house Balenciaga drops its “To The Moon” NFT collection with real-world and metaverse utility.
Balenciaga, the hundred-year-old luxury fashion house, is no stranger to digital exploration with its audience. Last year they even released their Fall 2021 collection inside of a futuristic video game.
This time, in partnership with cryptocurrency exchange and services provider crypto.com and blockchain news site Cointelegraph, they’ve created a collection of NFTs inspired by former Balenciaga artistic director Lorenzo Riva’s over 8,000 never-before-seen hand-drawings by Cristóbal Balenciaga that were created during the height of the couture movement.
The project aims to “rewrite the standard for meta-fashion and the empowerment of communities” by offering plenty of real-world utility, redeemables and other benefits. These include original 70-year-old hand drawings by Cristóbal, gift cards, designer bags and wallets, whitelist spots for upcoming NFT drops such as Animal Concerts metaverse tickets and special to-be-announced giveaways.
Other luxury fashion houses that have explored community engagement via NFT initiatives include Gucci, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana, and the competition for innovations in real-world and metaverse utilities is offering an exciting space for fans of the brands to engage in.
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Final Fantasy VII makes moves into the metaverse on Enjin’s Efinity blockchain.
“This partnership marks a coming-of-age phase for digital assets and entertainment” (Witek Radomski, Enjin).
Square Enix, the developers of the Final Fantasy franchise, which has over 1.8 million daily active players, announced their partnership with Enjin to launch a collection of 25 year anniversary of Final Fantasy VII commemorative NFTs on the metaverse and NFT focused Efinity blockchain, which is parachain on the eco-friendly Polkadot ecosystem of blockchain networks.
“Polkadot is proving to be among the most viable and carbon-conscious options, using the equivalent of 6.6 US households worth of energy per year, which is why we’ve chosen it as the destination for our NFT parachain, Efinity. Parachains do not require additional energy resources to operate, so Polkadot’s energy consumption will remain less than 0.001% of Bitcoin.” (Witek Radomski, Enjin)
The first character in this collection Cloud Strife will first be available to purchase as a real-life physical action figurine in November 2023, with a digital NFT version available to owners of the physical collectible who pay an extra amount ($30 USD) for the privilege.
Square Enix had previously sold off major franchises, including Tomb Raider, to fund its investments into blockchain gaming and had been hinting at an upcoming NFT collection for a while.
In February this year, they created a Blockchain Entertainment Business Division, and shared their future metaverse investment plans via their end-of-fiscal year report.
Despite some backlash over its decision to embrace Web3 technologies, the Efinity blockchain, with its eco-friendly proof-of-stake (POS) consensus model will help Square Enix scale its blockchain and possible metaverse expansion in a sustainable manner in the years to come.